Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum – Sparta, Wisconsin - Atlas Obscura

Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum

Small-town museum dedicated to outer space ... and bicycles. 


A 501(3)(c) nonprofit corporation, the Deke Slayton Memorial Space & Bicycle Museum is a strange find in small-town Wisconsin. A random collection of outer space-related stuff and … amazing old bicycles.

Founded in 1999 by a group of Monroe County residents, the museum stands to honor Deke Slayton’s memory in his hometown of Sparta, Wisconsin, and, explaining its mixed collection of artifacts, commemorate the rich bicycling heritage of the area.

To tie the two collections together, the museum’s artifacts are presented as a progression of transportation from the first bicycles to the Wright Brothers to the Wright Flyer to aviation in Monroe County and into outer space.

On display at the museum, visitors can find more than 80 antique, vintage, and collectible bicycles; a four billion year-old lunar sample from the Apollo 17 Mission; Deke Slayton’s Mercury 7 astronaut spacesuit; and much more. The entire collection includes more than 4,000 items. A fiberglass Deke in his spacesuit greets visitors out on the sidewalk with a smile.

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March 20, 2011

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